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Benefits of Neem Coated Urea

Urea is an important provider of nitrogen, which is essential for the development of plants. But only 30-40 % of nitrogen present in the urea is exploited by crops and the remaining gets ruined. When normal urea is applied, it gets transformed to ammonium carbamate. Some of this gets converted to ammonia gas. Around 8-10 per cent of applied nitrogen is lost in the form of volatilization which is more distinct in alkaline soils of India. The remaining amount of ammonium carbamate go through chemical transformation and as result nitrates are formed where some of these are taken up by the plants. The rest are either leached into the underground water or are denitrified to gaseous nitrogen and nitrous oxide under anaerobic conditions. Neem has properties that reduce nitrogen loss at each stage. It decelerates the process of nitrate formation and therefore excess nitrate is not open for denitrification. It will decrease caking during storage and also increase the nitrogen availability to crops at the time of growth and can also result in better crop yield.

Necessity of Neem Coat

Soil fertility is decided by major elements viz. Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium (N, P, K) of which nitrogen plays a very significant role. For this purpose, Urea consumption is very high all over the world. Unfortunately, more than half of the nitrogen leaches out or vaporizes in the form of nitrogen gas, ammonia & nitrous oxide due to the presence of denitrifying bacteria in the soil. Based upon the results of extensive field trial where Neem coated urea was found to be agronomically superior to normal urea, neem coated urea prevents its losses as well as slowly releases nitrogen from fertilizer, nourish the plantlets for a longer period, and thereby avoids the frequent use of fertilizer.

Mode of Action

Normal urea application to the soil result in rapid conversion of amide in the urea to ammoniacal nitrogen and subsequently to nitrite and nitrate forms. Nitrogen in following forms, in addition being taken up by plants, is also quickly lost from the soil due to leaching, runoff, volatilization and denitrification. But when neem coated urea is applied to soil, the neem triterpenes hinder the activity of nitrifying bacteria in the soil which results in the delayed transformation of ammonical nitrogen to nitrite form. So neem coated urea ensures slow and continuous availability of nitrogen throughout the crop growth.

Benefits of Neem Coated Urea

1.       Delay the process of nitrification of urea

2.       Neem coated urea improves yield up to 48% as reported by several scientists

3.       Reduce urea requirement by 50%

4.       Controls termites, soil born nematodes and other pest showing to its pesticidal properties

5.       Saving of 10% of the losses of urea would amount to 2 million tons of urea or a reduction in subsidy component to the tune of 1,700 crores per annum considering total subsidy on urea to be 18,000 crores per annum.

6.       Increased crop yields due to better nitrogen utilization

7.       Reduces environmental pollution of groundwater as it reduces the leaching of nitrates and gaseous emissions

8.      Prospect for entrepreneurs to commercialize local Neem

9.       Development of small-scale industries in rural areas

Other Benefit:

Apart from the increase in yield by increasing NUE, application of Neem coated urea shows other beneficial effects in paddy and wheat crops. No incidence of leaf folder and, stem borer in paddy crop has been reported by application of Neem coated urea at Panipat. At Sangrur and Gurdaspur, in the States of Punjab, farmers observed that the incidence of white ant was reduced with the use of Neem coated Urea in wheat crop. This is due to the fragrance of Neem oil that was released in the standing water on dissolution and insecticidal properties of Neem. Repellent action of Neem oil protects crops form many insects; pest due to bitter smell of Neem oil. Neem Oil contains Azadirachtin which effects over 600 species of pests including insects, nematodes, fungi and viruses and is completely safe to non-target organisms like beneficial predators, honey bees, pollinators, fish, birds, cattle and human beings,hence application of Neem coated urea is considerd as a eco-friendly approach.


Prem Baboo. (2014). Neem oil & Neem coated urea. Technical paper. Ureanowhow.com. 7pp.

Bijay Singh. 2016. Agronomic Benefits of Neem Coated Urea – A Review. International fertilizer Association 21pp.

Writer :: Bornali Borah and Pusarla Susmitha      Published on :: 10-Mar-2018

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